tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC October 11, 2012 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT
biden needs to be unequivocal and quickly disspell any lies. my liars used to tell me a lie can run a mile before the truth gets it's traction zone. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now. >> primetime. let's play "hardball ". . good evening. i'm chris matthews at center college in danville, kentucky. the site of the vice presidential debate. let me start with this about tonight. it's certainly well known how frustrated a lot of us, you, me, a lot of us at what happened at the first presidential debate. it's come to me what this election is all about and with this first meeting last week between the president and his
challenger was not about. the different is between these two people, between obama and romney, his grand canyon size. the president led the creation of the now health insurance program. governor romney said this week again that he would dump obama's health care plan, get rid of it and send the 47 million uninsured into the emergency room, letting them sit there. the ryan/romney team would allow people vouchers. i imagine telling an 80-year-old to get on a bus and find someone to sell them a health inpolicy. that's not all of it. mr. romney, when you're not supposed to be listening to him, that's when you should listen to him. his condensation on seniors and social security, that they should take spoon buiresponsibi their lives. if you have a pre-existing
health condition and don't have health insurance and now can't get it, well, sir, that was your decision. that's romney talking. obama stuck his neck out and rescued it. mr. romney said, let it take bankruptcy. this is the big drastic differences between these candidates and these debates should debate them. >> howard fineman, a political analyst and editorial director of the huffington post. he's here and rounding out our panel in kentucky is the pulitzer prize columnist eugene robinson. thank you for being with us. i want to start with chuck. your reporting, does it tell you that it's going to be a broad debate about philosophy and differences or a congressional markup sessions where they argue over details? >> i think if it's up to paul ryan it's going to be details, a little markups and in the weeds.
if it's up to biden, it's going to be more of a lively, ideological split. one of the goals they would hope that joe biden accomplishes tonight is to make you feel better, essentially, chris, is to make the base of the party feel better. show some fight. get in there in some issues that they know, create a divide in some part of the electorate, including women issues. with paul ryan, in some ways, expectations got out of hand for them. the base of their own party doesn't have a lot of respect for paul ryan. but i think his advisers know he's never been on this kind of big stage. they would like to drive home the points on libya, get benghazi out there. i think he's going to try to keep it in the weeds, if you will, because a draw for the ryan team in their minds is a win because it moves it on to the next debate. >> i agree completely.
howard, before we get into the scoring, which i agree on, will vice president biden move to try to bring on the air while we're all watching, 40, 50 million people, issues like the 47% comment, the issue of vouchers which he's pushing, the issue of personhood, basically criminalizing abortion, that kind of an issue? the pre-existing condition which romney keeps lying about. he keeps saying he would cover it and the auto rescue which romney opposed, will he bring up those victories which he wins by bringing them up? >> the answer is, he's sharp enough to do it. he's been studying to do it and i predict he will do it. if he doesn't complete your check list by the end of the night, he will have failed to do what they want him to do, which is to focus and to fight. neither of which the president did a week ago. focus and fight. focus on the issues that you
outline, plus others, and bring a sense of combat to the thing. because, again, chuck todd's absolutely right. the base of the party, the volunteers, the donors, the fund-raisers, the people who go out and knock on doors were disspirited as a result of last week's nonevent. they need to be energized before anything else can happen. >> you know when their eyes start to close and the guy starts punching the eye, you don't want to talk about vouchers, let's talk about vouchers. you don't want to talk about personhood, let's talk about it. you don't want to talk about emergency room, let's talk about it. they've got to keep on that. >> everyone who knows joe biden knows that joe biden can talk and joe biden certainly knows how to give the answer to give. >> will he get to it? >> i think he will. i think he will. i think he will be aggressive. because what else is there for him to do in this debate?
after last week, biden doesn't really have a choice. >> chuck, are you in on this? can you raise the issue of scoring card tonight? for a lot of reasons i've been thinking you're as good at this as anybody is. does he have to win tonight a clear victory? does he have to have a clear victory in order for the obama people? >> no. i mean, look, the obama folks don't want to lose, okay? going down '02, let's put this in baseball terms, you don't want to go down 0-2, now a five game series. you want to go 1-1. worst case scenario, 1-0-1. that's why the goal tonight is not for biden to win the debate. of course he wants to win the debate but more of the goal for biden, bring up points, try to force ryan on defense even if he doesn't take the bait, as you hear from some republican
advisers, they say that ryan isn't going to do that. they will try to avoid getting into direct confrontations. at least we'll show life on that front. these vp debates only matter in somebody loses badly. if somebody fumbles. let's remember, one of the biggest knockouts in a vp was lloyd benson over dan quayle. how did that work out? >> 2004 when w. lost the first debate to john kerry and then dick cheney came back and won the second debate against edwards, putting him down in a book, it seems like there's more of that situation. don't they have to stop the bleeding by a victory? >> yes, i do believe that, that they've got to stop the bleeding and you also bring up another point here and i think we overlook and that is, i think a majority of folks watch a vp debate to see, can these guys be president? you know, we're going to sit here a score the policy fights and back and forth and we overlook this fact and that is
why these little generational gaps that we've noticed, is it a pattern? there's not enough statistical -- there's not enough happenings of it to say it's statistical proof but when there's a big generational gap, it's usually advantage to the older guy and i think that's a challenge for paul ryan tonight, that they know that they have and i don't know if they have the best idea of why it works. i don't think they like the idea of him at a podium. >> i'm going to disagree with chuck on a couple of things. first of all, the thing to look at is the last vice presidential debate that took place here in 2000, it was dick cheney against joe lieberman and joe lieberman did not make an aggressive case against the bush/cheney ticket. it sounded like they were in the men's club having tea. >> i thought it was a membership
club. >> lieberman was trying to get in and it was a tremendous lost opportunity. i also don't think people care about the vice presidential candidates particularly as people. as people. they want to know what the arguments are for a change of administration or to keep the current administration. >> so debate the top guys? >> debate the top guys. don't spend all of your time trying to make paul ryan look bad. >> the advantage is to make the top guy look good. joe biden will be selling president obama and ryan will be selling romney. >> here is the reaction earlier today. >> right now the romney campaign is running away from their positions, like unwanted step children but we're going to hold them to them and explain to the country exactly what the differences are here because the choice is very stark. >> well, what do you think they will do, chuck?
do you say there's a connection between what he just said and what will happen tonight? >> yes. look, the idea that somehow that the chicago wasn't involved with this and suddenly came through, they've always been involved. this is one big team here, obama/biden. that seems silly to me. overreported about was axelrod involved. yes, that is what they are trying to do. build a bigger contrast. that is biden's job tonight, is to try to draw brighter lines. the president didn't do that. mitt romney's goal was to try to blur lines in that last debate and this time biden is supposed to draw brighten lines. we'll see how he does it and they are trying to draw biden into some fight and we'll see if he does it. >> that's the question. the problem i have is this. they seem to relate gate the modern term. all the old argument, how much of his tax deductions cover his
tax deductions. boring. >> it's got to be about where are the mortgage -- where are the tax deductions you're going to get rid of, for example, on taxes? i think that's important for -- >> they won't tell you. >> then they've got to say -- >> he's already said he's not going to -- >> the other big thing is medicare. >> grandma on that bus searching around town trying to -- >> that's what i want to know. 80-year-old grandma on a bus to buy anything let alone to get a health insurance program that meets her budget given to her by paul ryan. >> and i agree with you also, chris. if they talk about the tax thing too much in the context of deficit reduction, it doesn't help them because that's not the president's strongest turf. >> i know i ask you all of the great questions because you're a great reporter.
it sounds like you're saying that the vice president will not go for the kill. he won't nail them on the 47%, nail them on vouchers, nail him on the emergency rooms. will he do that? >> no. look, i had an adviser tell me -- am i going to hear the number 47 and they wouldn't 100% commit to it but they said i would be shocked if you didn't hear the number 47 tonight and 47. but no, no, no, biden's job is to throw -- as somebody said red meat earlier. it's called blue meat if it's for the blue meat. fine. it is supposed to be blue meat. this is a way of going after -- trying to draw the brighter lines with ryan. also fires up the democratic base. remember, that is an issue here after this first debate, which is a demoralizing feeling. biden's job is to fix that tonight. >> he wants to be a cheerleader for the team, he wants to attack him with blue meat or whatever we call it these days. i say, make them hurt, squirm, and make them wish they didn't
have to be there. do to their guy what they did to them last week. thank you, eugene robinson, howard fineman, chuck todd. coming up from danville, kentucky, joe biden faces off against paul ryan, the man who channelled ryan in debate prep for vice president joins us next. plus, whether it's the president's birth certificate, polls show -- don't show -- i don't know. anyway, better than expected job numbers. keep going here. some right wingers don't want to believe facts. they should call them what they are. conspiracy theorists. i also have some questions of my own about these candidates tonight. i'm going to ask them. marsha blackburn, the republican congresswoman from tennessee. can they answer my questions? let me finish tonight with old-fashion dirt because that's
being thrown at the president. live from danville, kentucky, the site of the vice presidential debate. i may not answer the questions the way that either the moderate for or you want to hear but i'm going to talk straight to the american people and let them know my track record, also. for a better place to put your cash? here's one you may not have thought of -- fidelity. now you don't have to go to a bank to get the things you want from a bank, like no-fee atms, all over the world. free checkwriting and mobile deposits. now depositing a check is as easy as taking a picture. free online bill payments. a highly acclaimed credit card with 2% cash back into your fidelity account. open a fidelity cash management account today and discover another reason serious investors are choosing fidelity. a short word that's a tall order. up your game. up the ante. and if you stumble, you get back up. up isn't easy, and we ought to know. we're in the business of up.
sparring matches. i have a whole list of things. will he bring out romney's positions an abortion and paul ryan's personhood, which criminalizes abortion. can biden deliver that, too? joining me right now is u.s. congressman chris van hollen who happens to be my congressman and my wife's, probably more importantly. and gentlemen, i'm going to start with you, sir, because you've been there. you know what we don't know. you know how prepared joe biden is. is he? >> he's ready to go. he's looking forward to tonight and he understands the stakes are high and he's looking forward to talking about the choices in this election. absolutely. >> it's faster, more punches are thrown. does he have a different role than he knows for running for president? >> look, he's got working class roots. >> will he tonight? >> he may. but he has it in his gut and
that's the issue for joe biden. he's a fighter for the middle class and this election is about whether you have policies that are going to help middle class or do what ryan and romney want to do, the old trickle down and help the foenlks at the top. we know that was a bust. >> does he know the weak spot of the romney team that he's got to hit? >> look, he knows what the romney/ryan plan is. we saw paul ryan the other day. remember when he was asked to explain his plan, he said, well, i don't have enough time to do that. that's a cover for something isn't there. just like mitt romney. he wants to hide the ball in the tax policy. >> it's working. i forgot about the tax return. >> the reality is, here's a guy that talks about tax returns. why are you going to tell me thaw benefit from all of the tax
deductions. >> is this going to be like a xylofone. personhood, e.r., throwing all of those people in the e.r., that kind of stuff? >> the president has his detractors. the biggest advantage is the very issues that the president and vice president want to run against. joe biden feels them in his gut. they are not abstract to them and he's great at explaining them and he's been studying for months. you look at his speeches, going back to next year, he knows mitt romney's record. he knows how they contrast in issues. he goes into this at peace with what he wants to do and i think that's a big advantage. >> what does mr. ryan do if biden keeps trying the human aspect of these numbers of his? >> i have rarely seen him express the kind of humanity, quantatative easing. he's got a great touch on the trail. it will be interesting tonight because it's no doubt that he's
going to play that playing card. >> neither one of you are catholic. a smart columnist, this may end up being a philosophical debate tonight. if you're catholic and pro life, it raises the issues of values. i'm pro choice and i'm not happy about it but it's up to the individual woman to make that decision. it's never an easy issue but you should be listening to your church when it comes to social responsibility and you're cutting every poor person's program. that fight will be fascinating. any chance that that will happen? >> we all know that the bishops, the catholic bishops wrote a letter that did not meet the royal standards. >> i read that. >> that's because of what he did for folks on food and nutrition programs. in addition to that, you have the medicare plan and the whole
idea is to offload ideas on the backs of seniors. these are all issues that you care about in your gut. in his gut, joe biden beliefs in making sure middle class families have an opportunity for success in this country and it's not the trickle down theory of mitt romney where you get people like mitt romney another tax cut. >> if you had to predict, would you predict that it will be a fill lof cal night? >> i would say it's going to be both. i think both of these guys talk about wonky thing in philosophical ways. but my sense from the body language is that their hope is not to lose this. neither one of them wants to say top of the ticket, sorry about that. >> they don't want a gaffe. >> they don't want a gaffe.
>> suppose you play ryan. why do you want to get rid of the estate tax? why do you want to get rid of capital gains? why do you want to reduce the top rate from 35 to 28? why do you want to give poor people more money and screw people on medicare? why do you want to do that? >> we have the world's leading expert sitting right here and you're asking me to do that? >> i've got to deprogram myself after this. >> is that tough? you're not cutting the debt. you're taking money from poor people and giving it to rich people. >> well, look, what we do know is that is exactly what the ryan budget does. when it comes to asking the wealthy to put in one penny, one penny to -- >> if i could guess what ryan is going to do, everything is going to be turned to their mantra, which is why would you expect the four years to be any better than the last four?
>> what about the voters? are they thinking about that, congressman, that joe biden's actions will affect how people vote over the weekend through tuesday when the president's meet again? >> well, there's no doubt. it's a big night and people are going to understand what they want to do and the fact that mitt romney, those guys want to do a u-turn. >> thank you, u.s. congressman chris van hollen and mark halperin who knows everything. coming up, more from danville, the site of the vice presidential debate. this is "hardball ", the place for politics. now, you wouldn't know this from listening to the latest version of mitt romney. he's trying to go through an extreme makeover.
after running for more than a year in which he called himself severely conservative, mitt romney's trying to convince you that he was severely kidding. [ male announcer ] wouldn't it be cool if we took the nissan altima and reimagined nearly everything in it? gave it greater horsepower and best in class 38 mpg highway... advanced headlights... and zero gravity seats? yeah, that would be cool. ♪ introducing the completely reimagined nissan altima. it's our most innovative altima ever. nissan. innovation that excites. ♪ humans -- even when we cross our t's and dot our i's, we still run into problems. namely, other humans. which is why, at liberty mutual insurance, auto policies come with new car replacement
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who am i? why am i here? >> a p.o.w. for seven years, he served our country well. a little embarrassing. here we are. why are you here for the debate tonight? >> i'm mare reel i'm a student and i'm here for the debate tonight because i think that supporting biden and supporting obama represents my rights as an lgbt person. >> thank you very much. >> put that down so i can see. >> i am for renewalable energy. we need to put our efforts behind solar, wind, water.
we can put miners to work with green jobs. >> thank you. sir, you're a veteran. >> i'm a veteran. the reason i'm here is i'm a senior citizen and the senior citizen needs to recognize some help. >> thank you, sir. put this sign down. talk about it. why are you here? >> i'm here to support romney and ryan. >> why? >> why? because they stand for what i believe in. >> which is -- >> freedom. >> what are you, a ven tril kwift. >> what has obama done for you over the past four years? >> nothing. >> i'm here with the one organization. >> what's the one organization? >> it's an advocacy program. >> we advocate for aids relief. >> okay. front and center. >> okay.
so i'm a parent and mitt romney exemplifies everything i'm trying not to teach my kid. >> like? >> he -- >> like what? >> very little integrity, no honesty, mitch mcconnell and all of those resistant obstructionists, that's not how the country is supposed to work. >> do you think mitch mcconnell should not have set his achievement for the next four years, four years ago, was to get rid of president obama? >> absolutely he should not have said it. if we said it, it would have been treason and it is. >> hi. i'm here to support obama/biden. my name is madison and i'm here to support them because i do not want this next generation of women to go through what our previous generations have. >> okay. thank you. >> next person? >> for medicare.
>> what do vouchers mean to you? >> vouchers mean to me that you're cutting the legs from under the medicare program. if it's good enough for me, it's good enough for a 55-year-old. no cuts for social security. >> i vote for obama. >> thank you very much. >> thank you so much. we're right back with more "hardball" and the vice presidential debate is coming up. buying this juicer online was unbelievable. what a bargain! [ female announcer ] sometimes a good deal turns out to be not such a good deal. but bounty gives you value you can see. in this lab demo, one sheet of bounty leaves this surface cleaner than two sheets of the leading ordinary brand. so you can clean this mess with half as many sheets. bounty has trap and lock technology to soak up big spills and lock them in. why use more when you can use less? bounty. the clean picker upper.
danville, kentucky, the scene of the vice presidential debate. new economic numbers showing that weekly jobs claims are slightly down. putting the damper on conspiracy theories who were out there saying these chicago guys, meaning obama's campaign of 7.8. here's what today numbers show weekly jobless claims are down 30,000 from the lowest number -- that's actually the lowest number since february 2008, well before the president took office and more twittering about twitter whether these numbers are kcosher. it's one of the many theories cooked up about president obama and his accomplishment. these numbers are good and legitimate. joining me is former rnc chair, michael steele and joy ann reid. i don't want to say it's
partisan that crazies join one political party but george w., they said, had a demolition pump that blew up to the world trade center. the fact is, he didn't. an airplane went into the pentagon and that's a fact. conspiracy theories are a waste of our time but here they are about the president and they may have a role in the campaign and let's look at the rest of this, have been wild and persistent. fir, the big lie that the president wasn't born here. and then the birth certificate was fake, conspiracy theorist that the health care plan is part of a socialist plot from europe and his plan to strengthen the safety net is a political move to, quote, shore up the base and then the unemployment numbers ha had bee monkeyed with. this goes on and on and on. what's the purpose of pushing these conspiracy three theories?
joy-ann? >> the difference is that you didn't have people like darrell issa in congress stoking this stuff. you didn't have serious business people or retired business people like jack welch supporting these kinds of theories and you didn't have entire networks like fox news egging this stuff on. i think what you have on the right is i hate to be cruel but ignorance and paranoia for so long because the 1 percenters keep the archie bunkers in line, from their media to elected officials and they have built up a situation where people in the base of the republican party don't believe anything that comes out of the obama administration. it all has to be a fraud. it all has to be a fake. and i can only imagine -- >> let's go with michael on that. is there sim met tree between the far far left and the people
like the birthers who have had a lot of support from the u.s. congress on the right? >> you also had members from congress during the bush year backing up and calling him certain thing. i don't buy into the conspiracy stuff. the reality is, look, you have to request yourself one question. you have 114,000 jobs created and 96,000 the month before and only goes down a tenth of a percent. what is behind the numbers? it's a legitimate number to ask. >> chris, come on -- >> explain the math. >> michael, this is the exact same agency that was reporting the numbers over 8% when mitt romney believed them so much that he wrote that into his stump speech. they have been believing these numbers, revisions and all, during the time that they were reported.
the minute that one produces something that is not pleasing to them, it advances mitt romney's interests and these numbers. >> i think a political party is. one political party is. >> come on, joy-ann. get off that. you know it. >> there was no corruption at the bls. >> come on. >> 7.8% unemployment rate started moments after the number was led by former jack welch and what he actually said after the conversation. >> it just seems somewhat coincidental that the month before the election the numbers go one tenth of a point below
where they were when the president started although i don't see anything in the economy that say that the surges are true. >> here you put out unbelievable jobs numbers, fair enough. these chicago guys will do anything, can't change the numbers. what evidence do you have that the chicago guys got to the bls, the bureau labors of statics. >> i have no evidence. i just raised the question. >> is that a fair assessment of what jack welch said? he went out and said, the chicago guys changed the numbers. >> well, that's his assessment of it. >> he said he had no evidence but that's what he believes. >> do you believe that any sane person really believes that you have can get into the labor statistics? joy-ann, go ahead. >> richard nixon tried to get
into that agency and actually floated a really racist conspiracy theory that he couldn't break in there. the idea that the chicago guys. what chicago guys? welch, who i used to respect, by the way, said i didn't mean the white house. which chicago guys are you talking about? number of foreclosures have hit a record low. have the banks conspired? no. they can't stand barack obama. the numbers are numbers. >> numbers are numbers. let's deal with some -- by the way, let me tell you this. the number has been coming down from high 8s. >> they need to create in this economy to get back to where we were. 200 plus -- >> wait a minute. come on. look, you guys are engaging in this wonderful distraction and want to talk about glsh who brought it up last friday at 8:35. >> doesn't matter. you follow that down the rabbit hole all day long. let me have my point and you can have at it. the reality is this. 23 million americans tonight will be watching this debate
asking, will i get a job tomorrow. 1 114,000 started working last month but the reality is that a whole lot more are looking for work. whether the unemployment number is 7.8 or 8.1, the fact of the matter is that people are not going back to work at the rate that she should be. >> the different between a third-world country and first rate country like this, every time there's an election, you don't scream it was stolen, you don't say that it was manufactured. it was not civil behavior by donald trump, that the president monkeyed with these numbers. >> that's wonderful but it doesn't change the fact that people are still unemployed and underemployed. you stay down that rabbit hole. >> unemployment went down in florida from 14 to 10%. the reaction from the romney campaign rather than saying that's great was to shut up and stop talking about unemployment
going down because that's going to hurt romney's chances of winning in that state. those are real numbers and the republican party should celebrate that. >> that's the real number, too, 14 14%. i don't hear anybody talking about that. >> i think we should have a meeting of all truthers, birthers, and jobbers. they should meet on an iceberg. it's melting. melting iceberg. any way, thank you, michael steele. thank you, joy-ann. >> up next, we're going to talk about the big issues that these candidates face. we're going to replicate as a preview what is coming up. live from danville, kentucky, for the vice presidential debate. [ male announcer ] inside the v8 taste lab.
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[ voice of dennis ] ...safe driving bonus check? every six months without an accident, allstate sends a check. ok. [ voice of dennis ] silence. are you in good hands? we're back from center college in danville, kentucky. we're going to see the candidates answering the question they wish had been asked instead of the one that was asked. they are going to answer the question whether they like it or not. playing vice president biden is democratic congressman from kentucky and marsha blackburn, republican from tennessee. we like having her on. so congresswoman blackburn, you have to ask you a question, when you are playing mr. ryan tonight, he's going to call himself mr. ryan, not
congressman. is the emergency room a great place to treat people without insurance? is this the future of american health care? >> my hope is that the future of american health care is going to be solved by a lot of the innovation going on out there and that we're going to do something to preserve and expand affordable access to good quality health care and that's what our focus should be, how do we make certain that everybody has access to affordable, quality health care. >> what do you make of your running mate's statement, governor romney's statement that we don't let people die in their apartments, we get them to the hospital, to the emergency room and that's how we handle people. is that satisfactory? what the governor has been saying twice now in the last couple of weeks now? >> what we want to make certain is that there is a continuum of care. of course, when there is an emergency situation, we are blessed to have great hospitals,
great trauma centers that have those emergency rooms that can tend to those immediate issues. what we want to make certain that we do is have people moving through the process so that they have that primary care physician, so that they have health insurance and they also are accessing quality care, making it affordable, and making certain that it is accessible as it helps reform. >> well, if the vice president -- rather, the governor of massachusetts has his plan right now, it's to get rid of obama care which covers 40 million people not insured. you'll have 40 mill enuninsured going to the emergency room. let me go to biden. vice president biden, do you believe that the anti-terror strategy which you advocated which has kept our men there and caused the casualties? were you right or was the president right? >> i think the president's right. >> so you were wrong? >> i think i was wrong.
absolutely. this is a new world. we can't be the world's police force. this is a new dynamic. most of the threats that we face are not deterrable and that's why historically we've had these enormous forces. we need to be much more intelligent about the way we tho deterrents to the type of people who don't care if they die. so i think the president's approach is right. >> let me go back to congresswoman -- or congressman paul ryan with a different look tonight. do you think a fertilized egg, human egg should have the right to property under the 14th amendment? as the personhood amendment supports? >> i think that life begins at conception. and let me go back to your health care question, also. if you want to see what happens and how a health plan that is a government-run health plan does not work, take a look at what happened when tennessee put ten care in place and that was going
to be government-run, it was the test case for hillary clinton health care. and i have to tell you, we still had the same number of uninsured coming into our hospitals and seeking treatment. the thing is, chris, you don't have an example where government-run health care has increased access, lowered cost, and gotten more individuals into the health insurance rolls. >> i thought that that's what governor romney bragged about doing in massachusetts. >> i think that when you look at government-run health care, what you do not have is an example -- >> romney was wrong in massachusetts? so he was wrong in massachusetts? >> romney tried something that worked for massachusetts. he feels like letting the states solve the issue, and i agree with that, let the states take this up. just like with our medicaid. >> okay. so government-run doesn't mean government-run? >> on a bipartisan basis that say send it back to the states. >> okay. back to my question, you didn't
answer it. if a fertilized egg of a human being is a person, then someone who has an abortion is a murderer because that's a person who was killed? under the law you want written. is that true? >> life begins at conception. >> is it a person? >> i think life begins at conception. i said life begins at conception. >> is that life a person? let me ask you, congressman ryan, you endorsed, co-sponsored a bill, you, congressman ryan, endorsed, co-sponsored a bill to make the fertilized human egg a person. you stand by that tonight or not? >> i don't know what congressman ryan would say on that issue. i can tell you that i do believe life begins at conception. >> in other words, it's a little tricky admitting that he might be right or admitting that he's wrong. which is worse? >> i -- i am telling you what my statement is. >> okay. thank you. this is not congress mman ryan anymore. this is congresswoman blackburn speaking in her own political interest. anyway, i want to -- i know why,
by the way. let me ask you about this bin laden. vice president biden is notoriously responsible for saying don't go in there with the s.e.a.l.s, go in there with drones, don't take the chance. the president took the chance and it worked out. are you wrong, vice president biden? >> i think i was. and clearly -- >> aren't you a humble man tonight? >> this is all 20/20 hindsight. it's easy. no, the president was brilliant and he made a tough call and it worked out. >> so the president's brilliant? >> he was in that instance for sure. >> let me ask you this. i got to ask you right now, i've got a chance to ask congresswoman blackburn, my friend on the show. let's make a prediction tonight. i want you to make one. i want you to be honest here. does your guy, ryan, have to win tonight or would it draw suit the purposes of your ticket? >> i think that what you're going to see is a very strong performance by the vice president and by congressman ryan. congressman ryan is going to move to a lot of facts and figures and be personable and be himself out there.
he's prepared. and he is going to do a good job. he's going to represent himself and our party well. >> is he going to do what you did a few minutes ago, represent yourself and not the running mate? >> he is going to represent himself. he's going to represent the ticket. he is going to do a great job. >> oh, that will be tricky. that is too tricky, congressman. there i have a problem, you cannot be paul ryan and mitt romney at the same time. it is impossible. you're a good sport to come on. thanks so much, congresswoman blackburn of tennessee. >> the great thing about it is -- the great thing about it is that we in our party are a party of big ideas. we love having people bring great ideas to the table. that's why we're a big tent and we don't have to have everybody walking in lock step. you're going to see that as we search for answers that are going to be best for america. >> okay. thank you very much, nice having you on. thank you very much, john yarmuth of louisville. thanks for coming on tonight.
when we return, let me finish with some old-fashioned dirt. you're watching "hardball" the place for politics live from danville, kentucky. the site of the vice presidential debate tonight. ♪ [ honk! ] ♪ [ honk! ] ♪ [ honk! ] ♪ [ male announcer ] now you'll know when to stop. [ honk! ] the all-new nissan altima with easy fill tire alert. [ honk! ] it's our most innovative altima ever. nissan. innovation that excites. ♪
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has his reason. it's why he's out there throwing that dirt in the first place. exhibit "a," donald trump. does anyone believe donald trump was ready to vote for president obama before he came up with this thing about the president being some kind of illegal immigrant? someone whose mother cooked up some elaborate, wild scheme to have her son born in africa so he could someday be elected president? no. trump declared personal war on the president for his own personal reasons and then went to work pushing this nonsense. this birtherism out there to the lesser minds. those impressed by trump's money and swag and swag who follow his lead like the mobs in o comicbook following some villain in batman, you know, the joker. does anyone think the great jack welch who proved his brains leading general electric, the most successful and industrial company in history decided he didn't like obama last friday morning between 8:30 and 8:35 a.m. eastern daylight time? between the times of the lower 7.8% jobless rate being